A Mediterranean-Style Diet and Left Ventricular Mass (from the Northern Manhattan Study)

Published:November 29, 2014DOI:


      • A Mediterranean-style diet was inversely associated with left ventricular (LV) mass.
      • The association between a Mediterranean-style diet and LV mass may be partly mediated by obesity.
      • Consumption of cereals and grains and moderate alcohol use were associated with reduced LV mass.
      One mechanism linking diet, specifically the Mediterranean-style diet (DT), with cardiovascular disease prevention may be an association between a DT and left ventricular (LV) mass. However, there are little data on this relation. We hypothesized that adherence to a DT would be inversely associated with LV mass in the multiethnic population–based Northern Manhattan Study. The study included 1,937 participants with diet assessments and LV mass measured using echocardiography (mean age 67 ± 9 years, 39% male, 58% Hispanic, 20% white, 20% black). A DT adherence score (range 0 to 9, 9 representing maximal adherence) was examined continuously and categorically (score 6 to 9 representing the top quartile vs 0 to 5). Multivariable-adjusted linear regression models were constructed to examine the cross-sectional association between a DT and LV mass. An inverse association was observed between the DT score and LV mass. In a model controlling for demographics, behavioral risk factors, diabetes, and blood pressure variables, LV mass was 1.98 g lesser for each 1-point greater DT score, and those with scores of 6 to 9 had an average LV mass that was 7.30 g less than those with scores of 0 to 5. The association was attenuated but remained statistically significant after additionally adjusting for body mass index. Results were similar when LV mass was corrected for height (LV mass). In conclusion, greater adherence to a DT is associated with decreased LV mass, an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and this association may be partly mediated by obesity. The association with LV mass may be involved in the protective effect of a DT on clinical vascular outcomes.
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